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Bert N. Uchino

Professor of Psychology

Brain and Behavior






B.A. 1989, University of Hawaii; Ph.D. 1993, Ohio State University


Influence of social factors on the aging process

The quantity and quality of one's social relationships have been reliably linked to morbidity and mortality. Dr. Uchino's program of research has been aimed at examining the mechanisms responsible for such long-term health effects. He has been studying the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system as potential physiological pathways by which social relationships influence adaptation to stress and long term physical health.

A cross-cutting interest is on the influence of social factors on the aging process. Aging is typically associated with changes in physiological function (e.g., increased blood pressure). However, research on chronological age and physiological function suggests that such physiological changes are not a biological invariant with aging, and social factors may play a role in the aging process. Dr. Uchino has been examining the role of social support and stress in predicting age-related changes in physiological function.

Selected Publications:

Uchino, B.N.,Thoman, D., Byerly, S. Inference Patterns in Social Psychology: The Use and Impact of Confirmation, Falsification, and Crucial Tests. Social and Personality Psychology COMPASS, in press.

Uchino, B.N., Birmingham, W., Berg, C.A. Are Older Adults Less or More Physiologically Reactive? A Meta-Analysis of Age-Related Differences in Cardiovascular Reactivity to Laboratory Tasks. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, in press.

Uchino, B.N., Smith, T.W., Birmingham, W., Carlisle, M.C. Social neuroscientific pathways linking social support to health. Chapter to appear in J.Decaty & J. Cacioppo, Handbook of Social Neuroscience. New York: Oxford, in press.

Birmingham, W., Uchino, B.N., Smith, T.W., Light, K.C., and Sanbonmatsu, D.M. (2009) Social Ties and Cardiovascular Function: An Examination of Relationship Positivity and Negativity during Stress. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 74:114-119.

Uchino, B.N. (2009) Understanding the links between social support and physical health: A lifespan perspective with emphasis on the separability of perceived and received support. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 4:236-255.

Uchino, B.N. (2009) What a lifespan perspective might tell us about why distinct measures of support have differential links to physical health. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26:53-62.

Campo, R.A., Uchino, B.N., Holt-Lunstad, J., Vaughn, A.A., Reblin, M., and Smith, T.W. (2009) The Assessment of Positivity and Negativity in Social Networks: The Reliability and Validity of the Social Relationships Index. Journal of Community Psychology, 37:471-486.

Reblin, M., and Uchino, B.N. (2008) Social and emotional support and its implications for health. Current Opinions in Psychiatry, 21:201-205.

Holt-Lunstad, J.L., Uchino, B.N., Smith, T.W., and Hicks, A. (2007) On the Importance of Relationship Quality: The Impact of Ambivalence in Friendships on Cardiovascular Functioning. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33:278-290.

Uchino, B.N., Smith, T.W., Holt-Lunstad, J.L., Campo, R., and Reblin, M. (2007) Stress and illness. In J. Cacioppo, L. Tassinary, & G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of Psychophysiology (3rd edition), pp. 608-632. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Uchino, B.N., Holt-Lunstad, J., Uno, D., Campo, R., and Reblin, M. (2007) The social neuroscience of relationships: An examination of health relevant pathways. In E. Harmon-Jones & P. Winkielman (Eds.), Social neuroscience: Integrating Biological and Psychological Explanations of Social Behavior, pp. 474-492. New York: Guilford.

Uchino, B.N. (2006) Social support and health: A review of physiological processes potentially underlying links to disease outcomes. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29:377-387.

Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., Smith, T.W., Pearce, G., and Skinner, M. (2006) Age-related differences in ambulatory blood pressure reactivity during stress: Evidence for greater blood pressure reactivity with age. Psychology and Aging, 21:231-239.

Uchino, B. N., Holt-Lunstad, J., Bloor, L. E, and Campo, R. A. (2005) Aging and cardiovascular reactivity to stress: Longitudinal evidence for changes in stress reactivity. Psychology and Aging, 20:134-143.

Uchino, B. N. (2004) Social support and physical health: Understanding the health consequences of our relationships. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Uchino, B. N., Smith, T. W., Cerny, C.B., and Nealey-Moore, J. B. (2003) Social Relationships and Ambulatory Blood Pressure: Structural and Qualitative Predictors of Cardiovascular Function During Everyday Social Interactions. Health Psychology, 22:388-397.

Uno, D., Uchino, B. N., and Smith, T. W. (2002) Relationship Quality Moderates the Effect of Social Support Given by Close Friends on Cardiovascular Reactivity in Women. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 9:243-262.

Uchino, B. N., Berntson, G. G., Holt-Lunstad, J. L., and Cacioppo, J. T. (2001) Stress-induced autonomic and immunologic reactivity. In: Psychoneuroimmunology, 3rd ed., R. Ader, D.L. Felton, & N. Cohen (Eds.), New York: Academic Press., pp. 317-333.

Uchino, B. N., Holt-Lunstad, J., Uno, D., and Flinders, J. B. (2001) Heterogeneity in the Social Networks of Young and Older Adults: Prediction of Mental Health and Cardiovascular Reactivity during Acute Stress. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 24:361-382.

Uchino, B. N., Holt-Lunstad, J., Uno, D., and Betancourt, R. (1999) Social support and age-related differences in cardiovascular function: An examination of potential mediators. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 21:135-142.

Uchino, B. N., Uno, D., and Holt-Lunstad, J. (1999) Social support, physiological processes, and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science 8:218-221.

Uchino, B. N., Cacioppo, J. T., and Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (1996) The relationship between social support and physiological processes: A review with emphasis on underlying mechanisms and implications for health. Psychological Bulletin 119:488-531.


Last Updated: 6/4/21